b Purely Gibberish: August 2006

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Climbing mount Kinabalu!!!!

at the starting point

I didn't manage to do a proper blog entry about the climb the last time. Hehehe...was too tired and tired as well. Did I mention I was tired too? Anyway, it was a brilliant climb. If I were to do it again, I would. Definitely! The guides (mambang gunung) were so helpful. There were five of us in a group; me, Aimee, Adam, Esther and Laura and our guide's name is Justin. But most of the time I did climb alone, I even reach the summit all alone away from my group mates...don't tell them, I think my group members were rather slow. They stopped at every single resting hut available during the climb and I was rather anxious just to sit by for five minutes every half an hour climb.

We started the climb from Timpohon Gate at around 830am and the Justin said we will be able to reach Laban Rata at around 2 pm. It was a total of 6km climb from Timpohon to Laban Rata. That 2 pm is my goal. After the first 500m, we're already stopping...well, one of our group mate felt dizzy and need to stop for a while to adjust herself to the altitude. So, there we are stopping after just 15 minutes climbing. Haha! So much for 2 pm then! We reached the first resting hut a while later, called Kandis Hut-and stopped again! Come on! We were just 1km away from the starting point!!!

At the third stop, we met these two couple from the U.K.; Andrew and Vicki. Oh boy, that brings back some smile on Adam's face! What a small world, they said as they realize they've once live in the same part of England. As we continue climbing, we were stopping all the time and my legs are killing me! The paths are made of steps that are gigantic enormous in size. Well, not all of them but most of the steps are so big; we have to force ourselves up using every limb available. Aimee said the people that built the steps are actually giants. Hehehe...

We reach Layang-Layang Hut, at around 12pm where we had our lunch. We've had 4 km done, yeay! They ate the packed lunch provided by Kinabalu Park restaurant which are consist of a boiled egg, four cheese sandwiches and a fried chicken wing. I only ate some banana which I bought at the Filipino market at Kinabalu City. I thought of saving the packed lunch until we reach Laban Rata. I can't move very swiftly with full stomach anyway, so I'd rather not fill it up while I still have 2/3 of the journey ahead of me.

after a short rest at Layang-Layang hut

After Layang-Layang Hut, I tried (wholeheartedly) to follow my group's pace, but unfortunately they were just too slow!! Sorry guys, I probably am suffering from hyperthyroidism (Adam accuse me to have one). I've had too much energy in me and can't stop myself from speeding up to destination.
the group, before i left them behind

On my way up-all by myself, I met one funny climbing guide (admitting that his name is Farouk when it was Jamili instead) and the guy he was guiding (a retired man from Penang) and decided I can follow their pace instead. So, there I was, climbing with some strangers and we've had a fun time climbing up to Laban Rata. Proud to say, I did arrive to Laban Rata at 2pm. I checked into the room-got room number 3 right across the men's bathroom.

the me, after i left the group behind..hehehe

I waited patiently for the rest of my group members to arrive and abang Jamili told me not to worry. But being me, I am worried sick. So, I went back down and thank God I didn't have to go down very far before I spotted them between the crowds. They look awful tired. When we reached the room, Adam was busy stretching as he said it's a good thing to do to avoid muscle ache later on; Laura was already lying on the top bunk. Esther was on the top bunk as well doing-I-don't-know-what; Aimee was rubbing deep heat all over her shoulder. I looked for my packed lunch and realized I've lost it. Darn!!!! And I was deadly hungry too!! Thank goodness Aimee hadn't eaten her packed lunch too, so she shared hers with me. Thank you Aimee!!

me and the retired man from penang,with the Laban rata hostel as background

We slept away the whole afternoon and woke up for dinner at 5pm...err I'm not exactly sure of the time. Hehehe... What we had for dinner that evening, I didn't quite get the hang of it but I don't fancy them except for the hot chicken soup. That soup was lovely. At the end of the dinner, Adam bought himself a pair of gloves; and offered to buy me a pair of gloves too, for RM4 each - people said we would need those during the morning rope climb. Thank you
Adam!!! He was such a gentleman sometimes I think I fell in love with him all over again. Hehehe....shhhhhhhhh...don't tell anyone!
After dinner, we were having a great time chatting and talking and laughing until 8pm. We were supposed to be sleeping by that time but we couldn't. We even get scolded by other occupant at the hostel saying, "Can you please keep quiet? Other people need their sleep!"

Haha...whatever~! Well, Aimee managed to sleep at last- the first one who did anyway! Esther and Adam kept making me crazy by swapping beds and Laura kept complaining she never went to bed before 9pm. I was having a terrible headache. I tried to sleep at the top bunk, and manage to do so until around 10 pm. I woke up and still can hear Esther and Adam whispering to each other. Whatever. I went to the toilet and God knows how cold the water was. I was shivering non-stop. Went back to bed and tried to sleep, which I couldn't do because it was too cold. So, I reached for my jacket. Esther and Adam said they spoke to me during that time, but I couldn't hear them; so they decided I was sleep-walking. Haha!

I still couldn't sleep after tossing and turning for a while- I was so hungry! So, I grabbed some banana and had two, or maybe it was three. Hehehe... call on Esther a moment later to ask for Panadol (paracetamol), for my headache was killing me. Had two tablets and finally was sleeping peacefully.

Woke up at 130am to get ready for the 230am climb to the summit. We are suppose to reach the summit at around 530am and will have time at the peak to wait for the sunrise. Well, that was the actual plan. Had a late start as we were joined by Andrew and Vicki and they have to have a long chat first above anything else-and I was mumbling to Aimee about not being able to watch the sunrise which will be the 'sight of a lifetime'. So, both Aimee and I left the group after just 15 minutes climb from Gunting Lagadan. Sorry guys, we had to. At the beginning, Aimee and I went up together. I don't know about the rest of the group. They were all over the place. Although I felt bad about leaving them alone, I have a mission myself- which is to arrive at the
summit at 530am and watch the sunrise. So, there we were (Aimee and I) walking together, until a moment later I met abang Jamili again!! I don't know why but I was happy to see other familiar faces around. Upon reaching Sayat-Sayat Hut, we felt so exhausted; perhaps feeling the face of death itself-but that would be exaggerating wouldn't it? But it was dead tiring. Well, actually it wasn't my legs that were slowing me but it was the atmosphere. Both of us couldn't breathe normally. The air was too thin....and the climbing is gradually increased in challenge due to inclining in the steepness of the rocks.

After Sayat-Sayat Hut which is the final stop before the summit, Aimee and I were walking together with abang Jamili and that guy from Penang (now I feel bad for not asking his name) towards the peak. I borrowed one of abang Jamili's walking stick because I don't think I can
make it on my own. I needed something to hold me up and kept me walking. It was that tough, believe me! But I was leading the group at that time. Heheheh.... As I walk, I chatted with abang Jamili whom is directly behind me before I realized a moment later there was nobody behind me. I was totally alone. What the....that explains why I didn't get any reply for my questions. Darn! I was thinking about waiting for them but I will get tired of waiting. That's what abang Jamili said to me the day before. "If your group members are slower than you, just left them behind and just go ahead because you'll get tired easily from stopping and resting involuntarily". So, I didn't stop for them. There I was, walking alone on my own mission to conquer Mount Kinabalu. I walked and walked and walked and didn't even stop for a rest. I couldn't stop myself. I couldn't figure out why. And I've never felt so lonely in my life until that very morning.
goodness it was dark or else all I would see would be sympathetic eyes. "Who is this poor lass walking alone, sad...." Maybe that was what in their minds as they saw me walking by. I am so used of being alone in my life I never realized I really need a companion to go through that horrible journey. I need someone to walk next to me yet there was none. As I walked pass by the people who were taking a break, none of them was alone. They all had companions with them, a friend at the very least and there I was, all alone. They were all looking at me. Thanking God they are with their friends as saw me there probably-I don't know, I'm just guessing.

At the foot of the summit, I looked up. I just need to climb 20 meters more to reach the peak. I looked up for a final glance at the peak which was already filled with huge crowd - and I looked down for any sign of Aimee feeling so guilty- the reason is because I was holding her jacket at the beginning of the climb and still have it in my bag and the weather now is windy and freezing-wonder how Aimee will survive. I was shivering myself even with my thick jacket on. I was torn between waiting for Aimee or to continue climbing. The time was 5 am-sunrise is at 545am. So, I decided to wait for Aimee. There was this couple who was taking a rest not far from where I was standing. They were hugging each other so tight for the weather was very very very cold and windy. I was standing there looking at them and felt a pang of jealousy. Wish I had someone to hug too-at that time...err...Adam was on my mind...shhhhhhhhh...don't tell anyone!

After 15 minutes waiting and there was no sign of Aimee, I decided to continue. It was the longest 20 meters in my life! It was so tough I had to use all my upper and lower limbs plus the walking stick I had borrowed earlier. All the people on my left and right were helping each other up but no one helped me. I totally deserve it... Sigh~~ 20 minutes later, there I was at the summit alone but surrounded with groups of people from all over the world, talking in all kinds of language, hugging their companions for their success as they finally reached up to the summit. I cried. Tears were streaming down my cheek because I, too finally reached the summit- and now watching the sunrise, all are according to plan; but the primary reason I was crying because I was feeling totally and completely alone. I sat there looking at all those people who were taking photographs as memorabilia-and cried again. I need my friends...as I was sitting down on one of those rocks feeling totally lost in my own country. To add to the pain, the sunrise was blocked by the clouds and it wasn't the 'sight of a lifetime' that I was expecting. Darn! I was about to cry louder...

the so called 'sight of a lifetime' aimee and I, succesfully reached kinabalu peak.

Suddenly, I heard the loveliest voice calling up my name. I thought it sounded like an angel. Haha...was exaggerating. Anyway, it was Aimee who was calling me...I could never felt more relief. Now I have someone to share this pride and joy! We made it Aimee!!! An 8.7km total climbs, we reached Low's peak at approximately 4095.2m above sea level. We conquer Mount Kinabalu! Aimee told me that abang Jamili helped her all the way up to the summit and the retired man from Penang lent her his poncho-still Aimee was shivering when she reached the summit, so I gave her back her jacket. We took some photographs, enjoy the lovely scenery and started going down before we spotted Esther coming up! Yeay!!! Congratulations Esther!! A moment later, Aimee notice Adam and the rest of our group member....but Vicki wasn't around. She didn't make it. Awhhhh....poor lass. She was having a terrible headache and altitude sickness halfway up.

enjoying the view, and the available oxygen

Going down from the summit, I looked around and finally can clearly see what I've gone through in the dark hours ago. It was really an achievement I can be proud of, seeing the steepness of the path and never-ending journey down.... I am at that moment was standing above the clouds and just smile. Looking beside me, there was Aimee panting and still couldn't believe she had reached the peak-and as I glanced at my back there were the rest of my friends; Adam, Laura, Esther and Andrew. I smiled again, almost grinning and full of satisfaction. Even a loner like me eventually will need a friend.

The journey down back to Laban Rata was unbelievably very easy though my toes were painful. I walked lazily enjoying the view. But, as usual I couldn't help myself from rushing down but this time it was Laura and Andrew who reached back at Laban Rata first. Aimee, Adam, Esther and I arrived later at around 830am. Phewww.....I was so tired I was almost in a deep slumber even before I lay my head on the bed. We slept until around 930am before waking up to have breakfast. I had two bowls of cereals-which wasn't so nice because they serve it with warm milk-but I'd rather have it nevertheless because I hate the rest of the meal they serve. Hahaha....

journey down from the peak

After breakfast, we packed up and started our journey down - back to the foot of the mountain. The time was around 1030am. Then it happened again. I left the group waaayyyyyy behind me. I reached Timpohon Gate at approximately 115pm. Aimee was not far behind me arriving at 140pm. The rest of the group arrive at the gate few hours later when I already had my afternoon nap and both Aimee and I had finished a packet of Oreo-if Aimee had more than one packet we probably would finish eating them all. The thing about going down is; I couldn't stop myself as soon as I started taking the first step. It was like a chain reaction of steps which I find very enjoying indeed. I didn't feel too tired because of it; and I was able to arrive at the gate quick enough the have plenty of rest while waiting for the rest of my group members.

When everyone had arrived, I can see that Adam wasn't looking very happy and decided that I would not talk to him-afraid that he'll get cranky, which wouldn't be a beautiful thing to look at. At Timpohon Gate, there was someone already waiting for us to take us to have our lunch and then straight to Poring Hotspring! Yeay! We spent a night in a hostel at Poring-which was ridiculously very small.....the room was so small that we wouldn't fit in if we were to stand up in the room together. At least two of us either have to remain on bed or leave the room so that another two will have some room to dig into their big backpack for their stuff.

chalet at the Poring hotspring, wished we stayed here instead of the crappy hostel

The warm spring bath-although was smelly enough to kept us breathless most of the time; but was most rejuvenating bath I would ever have. We had dinner at 9pm and it was western'ish' dinner i.e. fish and chips as all of us agree that we are sick of rice. Sick of rice? Here in Malaysia?? Hahaha.....as if I wasn't born in this country. After dinner, I had a fun chat with Adam and later went to bed with a broad smile on my face. Hehehe.....

The next morning, I woke up at precisely 8am due to a very unbearable tummy ache. I was deadly hungry. So was Aimee. Hahaha....just for that reason we had to woke everyone up and force them to have breakfast too. Well, I wouldn't say it was such a bad thing to do- even though Adam and Laura were so angry; especially Adam. He couldn't stop blaming me for waking him up. "I just climb a mountain yesterday, I need my rest!!" Adam kept saying that. Yeah Adam, I didn't climb that very mountain with you? Grrrr.... I was so angry. Oh yes, I said it wasn't such a bad thing that I had woke everyone up is because as soon as we had finished our meal, John i.e. the taxi driver had come to drive us back to Kota Kinabalu. If I didn't wake them up, we will definitely miss our breakfast and Adam will be crankier when he is tired and hungry.

Back in Kota Kinabalu, Aimee and I had a long walk around the city. Filled my stomach with fried noodle but couldn't finish it. So I packed it to bring it to the hostel as dinner. We all went out for our final night together in the city; though we have to go through a deadly arguments- well it actually involve Adam(again!), Laura and Esther. Aimee and I were only watching and prayed that the catfight would end as soon as possible without dragging us along with it. When it was finally ended, I couldn't help myself from thinking and praying, "Oh God, let there be no more fight between them in the rest of their journey because they have another 4 weeks to see each other's faces".
I enjoyed the night out, and before we went back Aimee treated everyone with ice blended from Starbucks.....or is it Coffee Bean? Hahaha....either one, thanks for the treat Aimee!!

at the airport, waiting for the delayed flight

The next day, it was time for us to say goodbye. Adam, Laura and Esther were taking Air Asia on 930am; whilst Aimee and I were taking MAS flight on 1215 pm. Yeah right it was so 1215pm!!!!! We had to wait forever for the flight. The plane stuck in a typhoon in Taiwan and only arrived in the airport at 600pm- that was 6 hours off the schedule. Anyway we are glad the plane did arrive and we didn't have to stay overnight at the airport. Arrived at the KLIA around 9pm and was too tired to notice when I arrived home.